The risk of wildfire is increasing across southwestern Oregon, and as a result, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is increasing the public use restrictions across much of the Forest.
“Southwest Oregon has experience several human-caused fires in the past few weeks. With the current fuels conditions, we feel it is important to implement public use restrictions to err on the side of caution,” says Eric Hensel, Fire Staff Officer for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Effective 12:01 a.m. on August 5, 2016, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest will impose public use restrictions that include limiting where open flames may occur, and areas where smoking or operating internal combustion engines is permissible.
Campfires must be built in Forest Service-constructed fire rings made of concrete or metal and located in designated recreation sites. With the exception of Sky Lakes Wilderness, wilderness areas within the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest are exempt from this restriction.
The use of propane or liquid fuel-powered commercial stoves is permitted. Smoking is allowed only while in vehicles, designated recreation sites, in areas clear of vegetation measuring at least 3 feet in diameter, or aboard watercraft on waterways. Welding or operating any other torch with an open flame is not allowed on Forest lands while these restrictions are in effect.
Operating an internal combustion engine is only permitted while in a vehicle on Forest Development Roads or within designated parking areas or while aboard a watercraft that is on water. Generators are allowed in designated recreation sites; please check with the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest before you camp to see if your destination is one of those designated sites. Additionally, internal combustion engine use is still permitted on the roads and trails at the Prospect OHV Trail System.
These public use restrictions will be effective until November 30, 2016, unless sooner rescinded.
The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will increase to IFPL 2 on the Wild Rivers, High Cascades, and Siskiyou Mountains Ranger Districts. Gold Beach and Powers Ranger Districts remain at IFPL 1.
Visitors to the Forest are encouraged to continue to be cautious with fire while in the woods. Forest officials remind recreationists to never abandon a campfire, and always ensuring that an extinguished campfire is cool to the touch.
For more information and to see the full text of the Forest Order, including a list of designated recreation sites where campfires are permitted, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/rogue-siskiyou/alerts-notices.